KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Malay voters in Penang say the state is being run by the Chinese despite backing Lim Guan Eng over other leaders.

A survey of 720 Malay voters by researchers Ilham Centre found that when the island was under a Gerakan-led administration until 2008, Malays saw the Barisan Nasional (BN) government as being led by Umno.

“Lim Guan Eng (picture) is popular and respected for being humble, approachable and being on the ground. But because of the sentiment and prejudice from Umno, he is seen as a Chinese who is threatening Malays,” said the study on perceptions of Malay voters towards Penang and its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government.

It said this showed the media has indoctrinated Malays to see the current administration as “a Chinese or DAP government.”

“It is seen as a DAP, not a Pakatan Rakyat government,” the study concluded, despite nearly 30 per cent of respondents picking current Chief Minister Lim as the most popular and respected leader in the state.

The Malaysian Insider reported last month that a survey commissioned by the DAP showed that less than a third of Malays now back the party, down from nearly 50 per cent just a few months after Lim took office in 2008.

The DAP made a clean sweep of all seats it contested in the island and obliterated Gerakan in the process.

But Umno has eroded Malay support for PR with repeated claims that the coalition is anti-Malay.

Its newspaper Utusan Malaysia also claimed earlier this year that the DAP had conspired with the church to turn Malaysia into a Christian state.

The DAP has tried to reach out to Malays by recruiting Malay leaders such as Transparency International Malaysia founder Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim and Zairil Khir Johari.

Tunku Abdul Aziz is now a vice-chairman while Zairil, son of former Education Minister Tan Sri Khir Johari, is Lim’s political secretary.

The DAP secretary-general is followed by Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mansor Othman, state Opposition Leader Datuk Azhar Ibrahim and Penang Umno chief Datuk Zainal Osman in popularity.

The study was conducted from October 7 to 9 and polled voters in the Kepala Batas and Tasek Gelugor federal constituencies and the Bayan Lepas state seat, all currently held by Umno.

Of the total, 43 per cent said they were Umno supporters while the rest were fencesitters.

The study also found that PAS was not seen as a champion for Malay-Muslims as its state leaders were not as popular as Umno’s.

“PAS under (state chief) Salleh Man is too weak and has failed to make PAS popular and respected whether in terms of welfare, community and sermons. PAS is seen as DAP’s puppets,” Ilham said.

The researchers also said two of the party’s top leaders who hail from Penang, deputy president Mohamad Sabu and central committee member Mujahid Yusof, are seen to be removed from Penang politics and not interested in helping Penang Malays.

It also said respondents did not see PKR as capable of helping the Malays as it is a multiracial party.

“(PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim is not seen as influential over the majority of Malay voters in Penang, just certain areas such as Permatang Pauh,” the study said.”

4 COMMENTS

    • hi marlin and blupzaseic,welcome to the blog.anwar might have been thrown into the rubbish dump. but he survived the cauldron of fire. i think he came out a better man.as to his credibility being tarnished, how many politicians are cleaner than him? i think many are worst but not exposed.lets give anwar a chance to redeem himself. look around the political landscape now and you can’t find anyone that is near to his calibre. the whole UMNO is a washout.

  1. Maybe I shd warn you that if you go to other countries, their Muslim satrdands may differ from ours. Once I went to Petronas to conduct some trg. At the end of the class, I was asked to hand out the certificates of attendance. A Malay-Muslim lady came forward. She was wearing a tudung. She was quite talkative in class. As she held out her hand, I thot she wanted to shake hands like the others. So I put forward my right hand to shake her hand. Instead she withdrew. She actually wanted to receive her cert. Quite embarrassing for me. But she realised my ignorance and tried to put me at ease and continued to be chatty as if nothing happenedIt’s rather confusing for us. On tv I often see the MP Halimah shaking people’s hands even tho she was wearing a tudung. Anyway, to be safe, nowadays, when I am introduced to Muslim ladies, I never offer my hand before them.

    • Correction, they are trying to form a coitalion now, but from the looks of things, it does seem that in Perak at least, the DAP-PKR-PAS coitalion will be still-born. There are rumours currently circulating in KL that AI is trying to get several UMNO ADUNs to cross over and help form the state government because of the problems the DAP is causing now. One thing you got to realise about the Malays is that they may disagree and fight over politics but they will close ranks and unite for the betterment of the community and religion if need be. It happened before in 1969 when PAS joined BN, albeit briefly and it can happen again. Lim Kit Siang is playing with fire. I also think whether the Sultan of Perak is dabbling with politics or not is immaterial simply because it is his right within the State Constituiton to appoint whoever he believes is the right candidate. Unless you can read his mind, there is no way you can conclude with any certainty on what basis he came to the decision, so it is very presumptous on your part to be levelling unsubstantiated accusations at him. The PAS guy is a British-trained engineer, while the PKR candidate was a former postman. Perhaps you can now see why the Sultan chose the PAS guy ?

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